White House sanctions Russian oligarchs over malicious cyber-activity

Among the oligarchs sanctioned is Oleg Deripaska, founder and owner of one of the largest Russian industrial groups.

The White House announced Friday that the U.S. government has sanctioned seven Russian oligarchs and a host of Russian companies for what administration officials called “continued aggression against Western democracy,” including ongoing malicious actions in cyberspace.

Among the oligarchs sanctioned are Oleg Deripaska, founder and owner of one of the largest Russian industrial groups, and Suleyman Kerimov, a Russian politician and oligarch. The oligarchs sanctioned are known to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The sanctions also target a number of Deripaska-owned businesses, including Russian industrial conglomerate Basic Element, energy company EN+, and aluminum production company Rusal.

In addition to the actions against the oligarchs and companies, 17 senior Russian government officials, a state-owned Russian weapons trading company and its subsidiary, a Russian bank, were also sanctioned.


“The elite are not immune from the actions of the Russian government,” a senior Trump administration official said during a media call Friday.

Among those sanctioned with government ties were:

  • Mikhail Fradkov, President of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), a major research and analytical center established by the President of the Russian Federation
  • Alexander Zharov, head of Roskomnadzor (the Federal Service for the Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media)
  • Nikolai Patrushev is Secretary of the Russian Federation Security Council

The sanctions are not tied to any one particular incident, but a wide range of actions, including Russian involvement in the Syrian conflict and various Russian-led cyberattacks.

The sanctions follow those announced in March against Russian entities for a multitude of actions, including meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the NotPetya attack and persistent attempts to break into the U.S. energy grid.

You can read the full list of sanctions on the Treasury Department’s website.

Greg Otto

Written by Greg Otto

Greg Otto is Editor-in-Chief of CyberScoop, overseeing all editorial content for the website. Greg has led cybersecurity coverage that has won various awards, including accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Prior to joining Scoop News Group, Greg worked for the Washington Business Journal, U.S. News & World Report and WTOP Radio. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Temple University.

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